September 2021; the news that 421adventure had been waiting for broke and it only took us a few hours to elaborate a plan and buy the plane tickets. Yes, it was happening, we were going to cycle America!
Some background information
We had returned to Europe in July 2020 and we had been cycling around the old continent for a year, visiting friends and family, and we were now itching to see more of our little world. However, Covid was still at large and travelling was still very complicated. That’s why Argentina announcing the re-opening of its borders to vaccinated foreigners was such a huge deal for us!
So, we said our last goodbyes, bought some last minute gear (more on that in the next blog entry) and looked for a couple of sturdy boxes to prepare our bikes for the flight. As you may imagine, none of that is as easy as it sounds but we don’t want to bore you before getting to the interesting stuff!
Finally, on a rainy November Sunday, we left from Barcelona and arrived to Buenos Aires on a warm and stuffy Monday morning. In case you didn’t know, Argentina is in the southern hemisphere and so it was Spring there. Great!
Things you are told about Argentina; it’s big, it’s beautiful, Argentinians are very talkative and be careful in Buenos Aires.
Oh, and meat.
Things you are not told about Argentina; how incredibly amazing Argentinians are (when not driving).
Buenos Aires; a capital unlike any others
Although capitals are not what we normally prefer, but also knowing that it’s not everyday that you are in one of the most exciting cities in the world, we took the time to walk around and meet people, especially local cyclists, who would give us lots of tips for the upcoming challenges.
Buenos Aires gave us a great first impression of the country. We actually ended up liking it a lot more than what we could have ever imagined but we also really couldn’t wait to get out there and discover more. By the way, there’s a great short video about our time there on our YouTube channel (link at the end).
The problem now was; which way do we go? The actual master plan is to cycle all of the continent, from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and the starting point of many incredible expeditions, all the way to Alaska and, having all the time in the world, the decision had already been taken to cycle down to our “starting point”. This would add about 2,500 kms to our trip but, again, that’s ok. Funny spoiler; it ended up being 4.500 kms!
The question remained; in such a huge country, what was the “best” way of getting there? Whether we went West or South, crossing some Pampa looked inevitable and, according to locals, we really shouldn’t go there. Many advised us to skip this region and just get a bus across it because the 1000 kilometres that we’d have to otherwise ride to get there are “aburridos”, boring. That just flamed our curiosity. How can such a huge area actually contain nothing?
We finally found someone who helped us trace a route towards San Rafael in the south of Mendoza and we left. Why San Rafael? We had our aim on a place called Atuel River Canyon which just happens to be next to La 40 and which, after hearing stories from people who have been, sounds like a dream!
In the next episode
1000 kilometres of boring and incredibly flat nothingness up ahead, will we make it without falling asleep off our bikes…?
Our American adventure has just begun, stay tuned for more!
As always, don’t forget that you can also find us on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube where, among many others, there’s also a great video about our time spent in Buenos Aires. If you don’t follow us on any social media sites but enjoyed reading this blog entry, please consider following us as this will enable us to grow and will keep you updated on our progress, publications, etc.